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Ron Bell

number of entrants in the national contest

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"This is not difficult to implement. All we have to do is add a line to the operating parameters specifying that space must be made available for display only models from convention registrants, that this must be publicized in all convention literature and that a record must be kept of how many there are in each of the major categories, such as a/c, mil.veh, etc. We could try this for four years and see how it goes. However, before I made such a move, I would want to consult the rest of the eboard, the NCC and maybe a couple past/current convention chairmen. No promises, but I'll ask."

 

Thank you Ron. I agree. Can't ask for more. Revising the Operating Parameters is important in that it represents IPMS/USA's commitment on a year to year basis, tables/space be made available so non competitors can depend on display space/tables being available every year. It will take years to build and grow the display entries. Personally, I would like to not see the commitment length of time not mentioned in the OP to show IPMS/USA is committed to display entries. It could still be dropped in the future if the idea just doesn't work out, but I also understand some compromise should be allowed for.

Edited by Rusty White

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Anyone bringing models for display only should be treated no differently than someone entering the contest.

I disagree somewhat with this. See why below.

 

They should have to be IPMS members, and they should register for the convention as contest participants do.

One reason IMHO, we are expanding the Nats with display entries is to show outsiders and non-competitors what IPMS/USA is REALLY like first hand. So I would support non-members and members alike to display. Mixing the two groups together could lead to a greater understanding by our members dispelling the various "myths" that have been floating about on the web. IPMS/USA membership isn't for everyone, but I believe displaying models should be. After a year or two, maybe some non-members will change their perception of IPMS/USA and join up.

 

I would really like to see the SIGs show up and display as well. I agree it would be an impressive sight to see all those models. This is also an excellent opportunity to dispel all the anti-IPMS stuff floating about the Internet to non-members.

Edited by Rusty White

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Two quick reactions:

 

1. I haven't ever heard of a major convention where non-paying, non-registrants get to participate. If someone gets to use the venue and see the product and wander about, they should, IMHO, pay the freight. If for no other reason than to offset the expense of record keeping.

 

2. I keep hearing about an anti-IPMS bias. I've never seen it or experienced it. Except, possibly secondhand, from some AMPS and figure modelers. Who do their own thing anyway. I do know that there are anti-club folks, who build but don't want to be part of a club. I know of some IPMS members who build extensively, participate in contests, but are not club members.

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This might be a good subject to bring up to the general membership to see how much interest there is. An online vote or something through the journal might work. I have been to both IPMS and non-IPMS contests (shows) that have had display only entries. Not many, but some. Curious as to how much interest there is.

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Mike, I did not suggest that we don't improve the National. I believe I supported the idea of display tables. My enthusiasm for the contest should not be construed as unwillingness to improve the show and attract more registrants by offering display only space. There is no gainsaying that the contest is consistently a success and I believe de- emphasizing it for any reason defies logic. I might add that both the Model T and the Jenny were outstanding products, reliable and of much higher quality than most of mass produced junk of today. Further, only the most skilled craftsmen can produce and have produced outstanding models from a block of wood! In fact, one of the original reasons for the founding of IPMS was to give credibility to plastic modelers who, at the time, were regarding as unskilled, mere assemblers when compared to those working in balsa and basswood. Finally, since when is the EE Lighting ugly? Nick Filippone

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David,

 

Let me apologize for not being clear. There should be only a small charge to DISPLAY. I.e. the person SHOULD purchase a daily general walk through pass just like everyone else plus a small fee to display to help offset any costs to the host chapter. I just don't see any reason to charge someone full entry fees ($40.00 on the web site) the folks who enter the contest pay when display only models are not judged or eligible for awards. IF the displayer wishes all the amenities (goodie bag, decal sheet,3 day pass, etc.), they should pay the same entry fees everyone else does. I have no idea what the display fee (full table for SIGS, first five free, a fee for each model etc.) would be made by others.

 

I keep hearing about an anti-IPMS bias. I've never seen it or experienced it. Except, possibly secondhand, from some AMPS and figure modelers.

 

Me neither, but it does exist as you have said yourself. What better way to dispel the myths than to experience IPMS/USA personally? As I mentioned before, a small charge now could pay big dividends in the future.

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Rusty

I don't know that I completely disagree with you. However, my thought is that asking the silent majority of IPMS to accept non-members displaying models might be a bridge too far. However, regardless of membership issues, I really don't see why anyone wanting to display a model, either in competition or display only, shouldn't fully register for the convention. No, display only models don't get judged, and aren't eligible for awards, but as you noted, tables still need to be paid for, and there will be plenty of labor in keeping track of the display models.

 

Nick, in the grand scheme, I disagree with you about not de-emphasizing competition in IPMS. In my opinion, the focus on competition has directly led to the perception of IPMS being a group of elitist nit pickers. I'm not advocating for reducing the importance of the competition. It should be only the best of the best models that win or place, and we are justified in praising those models and modelers. But I think we've maximized our gains from the competition and we'd be wise to start emphasizing non-competitive aspects of modeling.

 

Mike

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I'm not for non-members displaying -- it is for IPMS members to participate and for non-members to come and be awed and want to join up so they too can display or compete. There would have to be some caveat for a non-IPMS member who might be displaying as part of an IPMS Chapter or SIG display - but not on their own

 

Don't segregate the displays by class -- make a simple sign-up in numbers of tables or portions of a table - say halves - and let the folks who signup display what they want.

Edited by JohnRatzenberger

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Well here we go!

The oringinal concept for our convention was just that The National contest was secondary for sevaral years. My first convention/contest in 91 was driven by the comtest, but when I returned in 2008 the convention part seemed to come back in focus with the business meeting being held on Saturday’s. Im disappointed that the business meeting is given the “bums rush” along with the Bidding for the Nationals!?

Can we move the Bidding day to Friday Morning? This would really help thoseChapter reps who are going to bid! Then the Business meeting on Saturday? Why not? We now give 3-4 days for the Convention and Contest. Spread things out, so we all can be involved!

Thnks to Ron and the other guys for digging through their stats These need to put in with all the other stats to assist Chapters in the futer bids.

Tim Kirkland

President Spartanburg Scale Modelers

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Several good points above, but also several ideas that I'd like to comment on:

 

1) NO display models should be anywhere near the contest models! This can only lead to confusion, both for the attendees and the judges. Besides, the organizers are already fighting for table space and jockeying models around to make the categories fit the table space available. The last thing they need is to have display models at the end of a table that have to be moved to make room for contest models!

 

The display models should be a in a SEPARATE DISPLAY AREA. It might or might not be in the same room; but it should be clearly delineated so that display folks aren't trying to set their models in the contest and contest people aren't accidentally putting their competition entry on a table end for displays. And, keep it simple: allow people to place their models in ANY order! There's no need to segregate display models by genre, since they're only viewed and not judged. This also allows attendees who build different genres to keep their display models together on the same table.

 

2) DISPLAY TABLES SHOULD BE FREE! Not only should they be free to the attendees, but the HOST should NEVER have to pay for extra tables for display. I strongly suggest (especially to start this program) that IPMSUSA writes the new parameters to say that "display space should be provided each year to the extent the venue has the extra space and tables available". And keep in mind, ANY sort of tables could be used....4ft, 5ft, 6ft, and even round banquet tables; as long as they fit into the space provided. There's no need for any true consistency here, unlike what's needed in the contest area/room.

 

3) I too like the idea of pushing for chapter/sig participation. HOWEVER, use the KISS principle here. Simply let whoever wants to see "something" displayed at the Nats organize it themselves. For example: at the Atlanta Nats I wanted to have "yellow wing" aircraft on display. I reserved two tables with the host. I put the word out to friends and clubs that they were welcome to come put their models on my tables; just let me know you were doing so. I monitored the tables and did what little organizing was needed during the show (not the host or the judges).

 

The only interaction needed between the displayers and the host is the table(s) reservation for the theme; which assures the space will be available, and also assures that the host knows that there will be such a "dedicated" display that year over and above those simply bringing extra models for display.

 

4) As for whether we allow non-members to display; again, lets keep it simple to begin with; allow anyone registered for the Nats (IPMS member or not) to display free of charge. This doesn't break the rule about "members only compete"; while (as others have pointed out) it might allow IPMS to begin to change its image among non-members. If, after a few years, the walk-in crowd is also showing a real interest in displaying their work too, then we can discuss if and how to do that, and if/how much to charge them to participate.

 

If Ron and the Eboard thinks there needs to be some sort of official language somewhere; then so be it. My interest is to see the powers that be promote displays to show that IPMSUSA can be a home to builders who aren't comfortable with competing. As Rusty said, it might get some non-members to eventually join, or at least register at the Nats instead of walking in. Also, some display types might eventually see that their work is just as good as the stuff in the contest room, decide to start competing, and join IPMS to do so. In any case, as long as we can come up with the space and tables to display more models at each Nats, I don't see their being much of a down side. Cheers!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges

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It is only fair that people who display should pay something to defray any additional costs to the host, if they are incurred. If the venue charges for the tables and set up and take down, these costs must be met. If additional space for the tables is charged to the host, then these costs also must be covered.Nick Filippone

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I honestly believe if we charge the cost of registration to display, this proposal will sink like a rock. Sure, they get the goodie bag, decal sheet, convention pin, and a three day pass, but most of the registration cost goes into help paying for awards, goodie bags, overpriced union costs, (don't gripe union guys, as an ex-National Chairman I know of what I speak), office expenses, etc, etc, etc, ad infinitem. So why should non-competitors pay for those costs? Most non-competitors probably don't care about the goodie bag IMHO. That's why I don't see any reason to gouge non-contestants, and yes, at $40.00 each to display is gouging. A reasonable figure can be arrived at easily. If the facility charges for tables and cloths or set up fees, it's a simple matter to do some quick math to come up with a cost per table. The host chapter has all those figures. Charge THAT amount plus a free one day walk-in pass (that costs the Society nothing) plus 20%, and I guarantee you the cost will come in WAY less than $40.00 per person and we won't need to charge per model to keep it simple (right Gil?). If the non-contestants want a T-shirt or a goodie bag with a three day pass they can always pay for that at their discretion.

 

As an ex-National Chairman, no one understands better than I the importance of treating the National Convention like a business, because it is.

 

Now let's talk perception that everyone seems to be so concerned about. How does IPM$/U$A grab you? Try living that one down. Even us dumb modelers know when they are being gouged, (we would much rather be gouged by the model companies :smiley14: ) and future display only attendance will only suffer if we force a ridiculous registration fee on them. After the convention, if we need to make some pricing adjustments up OR down, we will know when we figure the final cost per displayer. Let's not shoot ourselves in the foot before we start this.

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I agree, Rusty. Charging the same as a day pass would probably be appropriate, but charging the full registration fee would likely kill this idea before it gets started.

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Sorry. My goof. I forgot there is no individual registration for the Contest. While display space may increase the overall costs to the hosts, these, of course, should be born by all Convention registrants. I must be getting senile! Nick Filippone

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I honestly believe if we charge the cost of registration to display, this proposal will sink like a rock.

 

Rusty,

 

I agree with you in principle, the problem is there are already lots of registrants who aren't entering the contest (40% according to an earlier post). There are also members who enter the contest knowing they have little chance of winning an award just to display their work. If you give members (or are we talking non-IPMS members too?) a way to participate without paying full registration, how many of that 40+% will take the cheaper option?

 

I have on occasion registered, knowing I wasn't taking any models, for the privilege of paying still more to go on a tour or buy a banquet ticket so I could have dinner with friends. I have also had just 1 day to visit the Nats and paid for general admission, and went to seminars and even once judged (that was before the shows started announcing that you had to be registered to do those things). Compared to the cost of travel, a hotel room and restaurant meals the cost of registration was not a big deal either way for me, and I tried to follow the rules, but I can imagine there are members on tighter budgets who are mostly coming to shop the vendors and look at models who will save however they can.

 

Maybe its time to think about an even more ala-carte pricing structure, where the base registration gets you a goodie-bag and admission to vendors/models/seminars and lets you judge, with extra fees for the banquet, display, and contest? This might be a way to keep the base-price of registration low enough for those on tight budgets (e.g. retirees on fixed income), while keeping up with ever rising event prices.

 

I don't know if this is a good idea or not; setting prices is more black-art than science. Who would think something this simple could be so complicated?

 

Don

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Let's see of I am reading this correctly.

 

We now have an IPMS registration structure. A registrant pays the registration fee, can enter models, can buy banquet tickets, can purchase tours, can avail themselves of the vendor room, can roam the contest room, can buy T-shirts and tattoos and whatever else the Nats is selling. For all 3-4 days of the convention.

 

We now have a daily walk-in structure. The walk-in can pay a daily fee and wander through everything and buy stuff in the vendor room for one day. The walk-in can't enter models in the contest or buy banquet tickets or go on tours. Maybe he can buy T-shirts and tattoos.

 

So now, some are proposing a third structure. The display registration structure. There is much discussion about the fine points of what a display attendee will pay and what he will get. I assume a displayer will get to wander around and buy T-shirts and purchase stuff in the vendor room. Will Nats decide that the displayer can't buy a seat at the banquet or buy a tour? After all, he is registered -- why shouldn't he have full access to the convention for the entire time his model is on the display table? Will he pay the same or less than a contestant? If he pays less, will he get everything but entering the contest? And, if he pays less, why would someone who doesn't want to enter the contest --- whether they actually display or not -- pay more? And if we let him in for free, why would anybody not registering for the contest pay anything? Not to mention who is going to organize and police and correct two levels of registrants? And if we allow non-IPMS members to register for display, are they going perpetuate a perceived anti-IPMS bias because they don't get to go whole hog?

 

Those are all rhetorical questions, BTW.

 

It seems to me that some of the discussion is pushing a bunch of carts way ahead to a few horses. What started as a discussion of whether displays should be encouraged is turning into the philosophy of IPMS competition to constitutional amendments to requirements on the Nats organizers to computations of floor space to fee structures -- from very different points of view. Like many off the cuff discussions, plans for skyscrapers are being advocated when the reality is in the sod hut stage. What much of the discussion seems to assume is that someone else is going to make all of the fine details happen -- in accord with the druthers of the proposer.

 

The concept of a display only option with separate registration does bring up a core question. Is IPMS National for IPMS members, plus a provision for the general public to have a look -- or is IPMS Nats a recruiting tool to bring in modelers who want to participate without actually being IPMS members? Or is IPMS Nats a venue to be all things to all people?

 

Sometimes good ideas are tabled because so much baggage gets piled onto them that they become unfeasible and unworkable. My thought would be, at least in the beginning, to set aside some tables and let full National registrants put out display models. And publicize the display option. And the sponsoring chapter can add whatever it might want to further structure the display tables.

Edited by Highlander
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I've been following this thread with some interest and feel this is my moment to jump in with a few observations. The first is that the people who would put models on the display only table would exclusively be the ones who register but don't enter the contest. My experience at the other "National level" (GSL, Tamiya/con, and Eagle quest) contests I attend is different. First of all, all three of these contest do(or did in the case of Tamiya/con) have display or WIP tables. These tables from my observations often are populated by works of modelers who have finished models on the table. The effect of these models is quite interesting in that it seems to generate a lot more discussion than the contest tables. I see informal seminars occurring around that area started with "How do you plan to...." or How did you do that ..." People seem more open to those discussions than they do when discussing a finished model on the contest table. There is some reluctance at the contest tables as some may feel that they may be exposing the faults of their models at the wrong time.

 

Also, I would suspect that the non-entrants/day passes are people who may be locals or conventioneers from other conventions at the same venue who find our efforts interesting. If that is the case, then we can consider it as expanding the hobby and maybe getting someone interested who has not been aware of what we do. If you want to do true marketing, then there needs to be a lot more information about the people we are discussing and frankly, we don't have that information. Assuming that we have a homogeneous group of people at the show is a huge mistake and can easily lead us off in the wrong direction.

Edited by PeteJ
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I agree with you in principle, the problem is there are already lots of registrants who aren't entering the contest (40% according to an earlier post). There are also members who enter the contest knowing they have little chance of winning an award just to display their work. If you give members (or are we talking non-IPMS members too?) a way to participate without paying full registration, how many of that 40+% will take the cheaper option?

 

EXCELLENT point. My biggest fear is that display only could take models and paying competitors away from the contest in an effort to save some money, resulting in less cash at the registration tables. However, the upside will be that models taken from the contest as a cost saving measure, will still end up at the convention in (hopefully) greater numbers, making money to pay the bills. Just not as much, and from a different demographic. My hope is that if this occurs, the increase in display only entries will offset any potential loss to the contest. I personally don't think this will happen to any real extent. Competitors for the most part, enjoy the sting of competition and carrying home that hardware. It's part of our human nature. We won't know the eventual affect on the Nationals and contest until (if it succeeds) a few years down the road when we have hard statistics to look over. That's the reason for good record keeping. This may well be something future E-boards may need to deal with.

 

First of all, all three of these contest do(or did in the case of Tamiya/con) have display or WIP tables.

 

Another EXCELLENT point. I never considered WIP models. I say let's include those as well for the reasons you state so well.

Edited by Rusty White

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It seems to me that some of the discussion is pushing a bunch of carts way ahead to a few horses. What started as a discussion of whether displays should be encouraged is turning into the philosophy of IPMS competition to constitutional amendments to requirements on the Nats organizers to computations of floor space to fee structures -- from very different points of view. Like many off the cuff discussions, plans for skyscrapers are being advocated when the reality is in the sod hut stage. What much of the discussion seems to assume is that someone else is going to make all of the fine details happen -- in accord with the druthers of the proposer.

 

David,

 

I tend to agree with your suggestion of starting small, but I don't think it is bad to think beyond that, even if its just a handful of us un-officially shooting the breeze on a weekend with neither the NFL or MLB on TV.

 

A friend of mine is a draftsman; he has a saying that "paper is cheaper than steel", meaning its better to find and fix problems on the drawings instead of after the machine is bolted together. I can point to a few attempts to make changes in the Nats that fizzled largely because no one thought about the unintended consequences; having more people thinking and talking up front seems like a good idea.

 

Don

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The E-board is watching this thread. So if anyone has constructive suggestions about "display only", now is the time to speak.

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As always, I find it astonishing that a registration fee of $40-$50 can be considered expensive. To those that say that charging for convention registration would dissuade someone from bringing display models, I think you're looking at it, and selling it, the wrong way. The guy who brings display only models isn't paying $50 for the privilege of displaying models. He's paying $50 to participate in the IPMS USA National Convention. Just like contest entrants, displaying models is only one part of that experience. If there is a problem with that perception, I think there is a larger problem with the Nats in general and we need to look at ways of adding value to the whole convention, because it means the Nats is really only a contest wrapped in the trappings of a convention rather than a convention that also has a contest. But that is a conversation for a different day.

 

Also, as long as everyone showing models, either in competition or display pays convention registration there won't be any income reduction even if some folks switch from competition to display. And I'll say it again, anyone showing models, be it competition or display should be treated the same. If you want to show your models at the IPMS USA National Convention, you pay registration. Now, since display models won't get awards, perhaps their registration is reduced by $5, but I don't really think that would be necessary.

 

Make providing display tables a requirement at Nationals, promote the crap out of it from the top down, track the numbers, and see what develops. No, it probably isn't or won't be that easy, but we don't need it to be harder than necessary either.

 

Mike

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Part of this discussion concerns HOW we promote the idea of displaying models at future Nats. I'd like to suggest the following ideas.....

 

1) Displaying models is a new addition to the Nats: This is not a change in anything already done at the Nats, but an additional "perk". Put it out to the membership that IF they attend the Nats, and they either want to bring extra models over and above their contest entries, they can. Or if they never compete, here's a chance for them to display their work without being judged. Point out that as registered attendees, it costs them nothing extra to do this. It's just another way for them to participate and enjoy the show.

 

2) There is no change to the contest because of displays: Members who put great credence in the contest needent worry, as there will be NO change in it at all. There will simply be other tables where models (built and in-progress) will be displayed without any judging.

 

3) If you want to display, you must register for the convention: Although there should be NO associated costs with simply displaying works, displaying models, like the contest, is a part of the IPMSUSA NAts. You support that by registering for the show. In my mind, there's no need to complicate matters with a more involved fee structure. We're targeting those who already attend and register (but don't compete), especially to begin the program, not those who don't attend because they don't compete (maybe expand to that group later).

 

4) Target attendees who don't compete at the Nats: Since there seems to be a pretty large group of those folks (@40%), the idea is to get them to participate at a level that has never before existed- simple display. I don't know of anyone in this hobby, especially those who attend shows, who don't like looking at models! Even if only 1/4 to 1/2 of those people were to bring a model or two, that's several hundred more models to view.

 

5) Promote that in-progress models are ok on display: The point made above about WIPs generating discussion is a great one. I believe most WIPs will be of the more unusual or ambitious types of builds. After all, why display the "regular" WIP? But, scratchbuild projects, extensive conversions, or those involving tough techniques like making water draw everyone in. And if there's a regular WIP (by comparison), there's still no harm as you never know what will grab someone's attention.

 

6) Save the idea of changing the image of IPMS til later: I agree with others in that our image is one that glorifies competition too much. I fully understand that those who compete are comfortable with that. However, the majority of the modeling public is not; and barley over half of our own members (as proved by the tracking numbers provided at the start of this thread) are comfortable with it! So, it stands to reason that IF we begin providing a place to show models without competing, we might start to interest more of those who don't like contests. BUT, to start with, simply add "displays" as another thing to do at the Nats and try to build it to a successful part of the show. If it works and grows, THEN we can start trumpeting our efforts to show how IPMS is not just about contests.

 

One final thought about the contest side, as opposition to this is going to come from those dedicated to it (and Nick is not alone!).

 

The contest has grown over the last 30yrs from 1000+ models (and I recall when that was a momentous show) to where we're occasionally approaching 3000! However, the costs associated with the contest side will never be lowered due to the numbers that compete; be they higher or lower. The awards cost is set by the number of categories. That will not change significantly even if the numbers in the contest were to drop by half (be it due to displays or any other reason). Thus, there's no need to make any changes to the contest to allow for display.

 

That said, promoting full registration, and demanding that for displaying IS important, as this is the cash income of the show (besides vendor tables). That's why I've outlined targeting registered attendees (who'd be there and pay anyway) to bring more models, and don't think we should try to include everyone else at the start. We cannot cut the financial legs out from our hosts to accommodate a new idea. And, (as Rusty points out) we could kill a good idea by trying to make people pay extra for something that costs us nothing to do!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges
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I work in the software industry, and our lead developer believes in building and releasing what he refers to as “MVP” — Minimum Viable Product — as a way to test the market for new features. If we find that our customers are using them, we refine and enhance them. This allows us to mitigate the risk of investing a great deal of time and money in functionality that might go unused.


We can take the same approach here by asking, “How can we test the interest in a display-only category without disrupting what we already have in place?” What is our MVP in terms of display models? The answer, I think, is we encourage the sponsors of the next two Nats to set aside a few tables for display-only models, allow only conventipn registrants to put models on those tables, and then follow-up with counting the models vis-a-vis those in the contest itself to assess the interest and impact. Super easy, no fuss, no risk to the convention financials at all.


Steve

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That was not our experience in 2005. We had lots of the senior builders bring things they had retired from competition because it had already won somewhere.
We had over 1,000 display models in addition to the 3,000+ contest models (not entries due to collections, etc.)

EXCELLENT point. My biggest fear is that display only could take models and paying competitors away from the contest in an effort to save some money, resulting in less cash at the registration tables. However, the upside will be that models taken from the contest as a cost saving measure, will still end up at the convention in (hopefully) greater numbers, making money to pay the bills. Just not as much, and from a different demographic. My hope is that if this occurs, the increase in display only entries will offset any potential loss to the contest. I personally don't think this will happen to any real extent. Competitors for the most part, enjoy the sting of competition and carrying home that hardware. It's part of our human nature. We won't know the eventual affect on the Nationals and contest until (if it succeeds) a few years down the road when we have hard statistics to look over. That's the reason for good record keeping. This may well be something future E-boards may need to deal with.

 

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That was not our experience in 2005. We had lots of the senior builders bring things they had retired from competition because it had already won somewhere.

We had over 1,000 display models in addition to the 3,000+ contest models (not entries due to collections, etc.)

 

James,

 

Just to be clear, when Atlanta did display only, it was only open to registered entrants, right? My concern was that if we offered a lower-priced "display only" registration then then many of the people who regularly come and don't bring models will take that cheaper option. I don't think Atlanta offered such a lower-cost option, did you?

 

For the record, I agree with Mike and the Soup Doctor; start out with a few display-only tables, open it up to just registered attendees, and see how it works. I'd suggest recruiting a few guys who are good modelers and good at holding court (IPMS must have a few extroverts somewhere...) to bring some models and spend time there talking to people just to break the ice. Have plenty of chairs, and locate it as close to the bar as possible :)

 

Don

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